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97 comments

Custom firmware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239117)

Custom Firmware for the PSP-3000. What is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

Re:Custom firmware... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239391)

All dirty fucking pirates should be sent to a federal pound you in the ass prison.

When you run homebrew on a PSP, it makes Jesus cry.

Re:Custom firmware... (-1, Offtopic)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239423)

The psp makes baby jesus cry for completely different reasons.

I feel bad for him. He dies for our sins and we go and pull that shit.

Re:Custom firmware... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28241083)

If Slashdot is anything to go by, this Jesus character cries about everything and anything. He must have a tightly packed organizer or a Blackberry or some shit.

"Okay, pestilence and child abuse out of the way, I guess I can allot 30 seconds to cry about PSP homebrew".

Re:Custom firmware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28240659)

Holy shit, a blast from the past. Nice work.

Emulation and much more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239141)

Emulation has been possible on the PSP-3000 for a while now thanks to the ChickHEN TIFF exploit. In fact, the installer for this custom firmware takes advantage of that exploit. The biggest draw for most to running custom firmware is the ability to create and run UMD backups.

Re:Emulation and much more (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28240723)

The biggest draw for most to running custom firmware is the ability to create and run UMD backups.

You misspelled "pirate."

But hey, this is Slashdot. It only matters when you're violating some open-source license.

Re:Emulation and much more (2, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241343)

Because of course no legitimate customer would ever want to have the ability to carry all of their games on one memory card, instead of a stack of discs

Re:Emulation and much more (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241451)

How the fuck did this get modded insightful? Apparently we're supposed to respect the fair-use rights allowing us to backup most media, but not console games?

Fuck you, you anti-freedom commie pig.

Re:Emulation and much more (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28242649)

AC is a whore. I quite often ripped my UMD discs to memory card, because those little discs were not very reliable, even in their hard plastic shell.

I BOUGHT every single game I had. No pirating involved.

Re:Emulation and much more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28243225)

Anonymous Coward (#28240723) needs to extricate the phallus from his orifice.

Uses (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239163)

Emulation is great, and I would crack my PSP just for that, if I had one.

But it is just a bit disingenuous of the summary to not mention game piracy. It is one of the main reasons people install the new firmware; I suspect it's by far the primary driving force. It's also the main reason Sony is constantly plugging the holes and making revisions. It's not to combat emulation and homebrew.

I have no problem with modifying things you own; but the actual reasons that most people are interested in it shouldn't be just ignored. That's not intellectually honest.

Re:Uses (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239211)

Why don't they allow homebrew then? They let people install Linux on their PS3. Why not let them do the same on their PSP? It's not only that they don't want people copying games.

Difference between PSP and PS3 (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240397)

Why don't they allow homebrew then? They let people install Linux on their PS3.

Because Linux for PLAYSTATION 3 has no access to the NVIDIA RSX GPU apart from a dumb frame buffer, it is less powerful than a PC for 3D games. The big draws of a PS3 over a PC are 1. you get to use most of the Cell CPU's DSP cores (except for one that the hypervisor reserves), and 2. the PS3 can display on an older, pre-HD television without needing a $40 box to convert VGA to S-Video [sewelldirect.com] . So it's better than a PC for high-performance computing, but the PC is better for homebrew gaming.

I'm guessing that Sony put Linux on the PS3 because Sony wanted to train developers to write the firmware for other products using a Cell CPU. A PSP, on the other hand, has a fairly traditional architecture. In addition, the PS3 had pressure from another platform: if you can homebrew on a PC running Windows (using tools such as MinGW or Python), you're more likely to buy games for the PC. I haven't seen a lot of PDAs with 3D graphics or traditional gaming controls yet [openpandora.org] .

Re:Difference between PSP and PS3 (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28242687)

"Because Linux for PLAYSTATION 3 has no access to the NVIDIA RSX GPU apart from a dumb frame buffer,"

Not when me and a few friends get done with it. That hypervisor is not as secure as Sony likes to think it is. And the most recent update for the PS3, as far as we can tell, closed five holes we knew about but opened up about another dozen, maybe more, we're not done prodding everything yet.

Re:Difference between PSP and PS3 (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28243477)

2. the PS3 can display on an older, pre-HD television without needing a $40 box to convert VGA to S-Video.

Most graphics cards already have an s-video output. All the ones I've had even came with a component adapter for convenience.

Re:Difference between PSP and PS3 (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28243669)

Not to mention VGA is electrically compatible with SCART.

Re:Difference between PSP and PS3 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28244297)

Not to mention VGA is electrically compatible with SCART.

Really? VGA is progressive, and I don't see anything in the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] about progressive signals over SCART's RGB pins. Besides, I live in the United States, where SCART is unknown.

Graphics card? There is no card. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28244241)

Most graphics cards already have an s-video output.

Most desktop PCs that I've seen lately don't have a graphics card. Instead, they have an Intel GMA on the motherboard with only a VGA output.

Re:Graphics card? There is no card. (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28249551)

In that case, isn't the whole argument a bit disingenuous, comparing a $300 PC to a $500 console?

Re:Graphics card? There is no card. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28249791)

In that case, isn't the whole argument a bit disingenuous, comparing a $300 PC to a $500 console?

I've seen $400 PCs (compare to the $400 PS3) with only VGA (or DVI-I) out. Sure, a $40 adapter fixes this, but the median gamer doesn't even know they exist: PCs are for small, high-resolution monitors and consoles are for large, low-resolution monitors in the median gamer's mind.

Re:Graphics card? There is no card. (2, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28250457)

That brings another thing to mind: The PS3 and Xbox 360 are strongly designed with HD in mind. Some games are unplayable on a standard television because the text is so high resolution.

If you own a decent HDTV, it will have a VGA or DVI input.

Re:Graphics card? There is no card. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252723)

Very true. Heck, back even in the PSone days there were a few games that I had trouble reading the text of in composite (Darkstone is one example), you really needed S-Video for those. There were some PS2 games like that as well, I remember Hot Shots Golf 3 being that way.

Re:Uses (-1, Troll)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239213)

I wonder if /. ran a story saying "Cisco routers cracked to run unofficial firmware - rip up your Cisco support contracts now*" or similar, it would get hit with a cease and desist faster than a speeding lawyer. But, just because this is about games, the editors feel its 'okay' to promote piracy. Which is really just what this post is all about.

*can't actually be arsed to check...

Re:Uses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239247)

I'm sure there's an analogy about knives or some such to be made here. Anybody and everybody who owns a PSP should put a custom firmware on it - not because of piracy, but because UMDs are bulky and easily damaged, and the moving parts in your PSP aren't going to last forever. This is why I applaud Sony for the direction they're taking with the PSP Go, though I'm not such a fan of the device itself at this point.

Re:Uses (3, Insightful)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239281)

Sorry, are you really that incapable of clear thinking? This is not about copyright infringement, nor would your hypothetical situation be. If I purchased cisco hardware, I think I should absolutely have the right to run alternative firmware on it. I run OpenWRT on my Linksys WRT54GL, which I'm fairly certain is legal, but even if it weren't legal it would be the law that is the problem, not the people who were illegally running OpenWRT on hardware that they owned.

Now this unofficial PSP firmware may largely be used by people intent on violating copyright law. Whether they're right or wrong to do this though, it is a separate issue from being allowed to run unofficial firmware on your own property.

You might argue that the firmware they're running is a modified official version, which is under a restrictive copyright license. That probably is the case in this specific instance. But you're not thinking clearly if you think that people who run unofficial firmware on their own hardware, are also committing copyright violations.

Re:Uses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239379)

What if your alternative firmware was intended to allow your router to flout FCC regulations?

Re:Uses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239447)

Then the FCC should come after you...what does that have to do with copyright law?

Re:Uses (0, Troll)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239403)

In practice, I doubt there's a single instance of someone doing this who isn't committing copyright violations.

Re:Uses (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239479)

I don't believe I know anyone with a PSP, period... but I do know several people who have a hacked Wii and strictly use it for homebrew. I also know someone with a Nintendo DS that refuses to put games on his flash card until he buys them first.

Re:Uses (3, Interesting)

V50 (248015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239713)

I don't doubt you, but I would wager that the people you know aren't particularly representative of the gaming community as a whole. (Not that I or any of us really have a great cross-section of anything known to us.)

My experience, with people from my work (Canadian Army) is that every single person who has run custom firmware on the PSP/DS has done so with the intention of running pirated games.

Anyway, in general, people can say what they want about rights to run stuff on their own hardware, etc. As a PSP and DS lover, with around 30+ games for each, I hate custom firmware, and wish Sony and Nintendo the best in locking down the systems.

People can argue all they want that people pirating DS/PSP games don't result in lost sales (I don't buy that, but whatever), but the presence of much PSP/DS piracy appears to be scaring developers away, resulting in less handheld games, particularly for the PSP. :(

Among (several) other reasons, massive piracy is one major cause, IMO, for the large shift away from PC gaming, towards consoles. I don't want to see the same happen to the handhelds.

Which platform instead? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240421)

As a PSP and DS lover, with around 30+ games for each, I hate custom firmware, and wish Sony and Nintendo the best in locking down the systems.

Then on what handheld platform would you prefer to run homemade games instead of Sony's, Nintendo's, and Apple's (which is locked down in a similar manner)?

Re:Uses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28241727)

presence of much PSP/DS piracy appears to be scaring developers away, resulting in less handheld games, particularly for the PSP. :(

The DS has a ton of games in the pipe. Most of them are shovelware, but that kind of refutes your point.

As for the PSP, the reason no one releases games for it is:

1. The PSP market is ridiculously small. There's a reason the DS section is two whole rows and the PSP section is stuck in with the half-row PS3 section in most stores. And when you realize half of THAT is UMD movies...

2. Sony is killing the UMD in future PSP models. Why develop for something that will be gone?

Re:Uses (2, Interesting)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28246359)

Just to make a point of this and to the GP post, I have run CFW on my PSP fat for years. I have not pirated a single game during this time.

I've written posts about this before when people start with this nonsense but here are the reasons why I run CFW:

I go on overseas assignments that run ~9 months. I like my game library with me and that's about 30-40 games. 30 UMDs in even the most space efficient case is still a lot of space for me since I live out of a backpack and a duffel bag. I rip every UMD and carry my entire PSP game library on either my laptop and/or external HD. Running off of the MS PD gives me several advantages on top of the space savings:

- Less power consumption, longer batter time (though not as much as some claim) which is a double plus because I often don't have access to consistent electricity.
- Less load time on most titles (some take about the same amount of time UMD vs MS)
- Originals are at home, where they stand less of a chance of being stolen.
- Often, I work in extremely dusty environments. UMDs and dust don't mix.

When I'm at home in the US, Europe or Korea, I don't play many games on my PSP and usually it runs as a secondary display on my XP machine. This is the only homebrew I run on a regular basis. Sometimes, I tinker with uClinux. If I had the patience and the same technical bent I had back in college, I'd probably be trying to shoehorn NetBSD on somehow.

So there. You now know at least one person who does not and has never pirated a single PSP game, yet runs CFW for a number of purposes.

If you knew my brother (also US Army), you'd know two guys who don't pirate games and run CFW. Though he runs emulators. He's one of those guys who still has every NES/SNES cartridge he ever owned so you can't even accuse him of pirating ROMs.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28248375)

The DS is the most pirated console in the world, and is the most successful console in the world right now, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parties having unheard of level of success on the platform. Sorry, how are developers being scared away again? The PSP has more to do with Sony making a few key mistakes along the way which also led to less then stellar sales with the PS3. Both good platforms mind you but blame shifting sonys problems onto Piracy is quite ignorant. Lets not forget the PS3 has to this day still not been cracked, and is the least performing of all the Consoles.

I use my DS as an mp3 player since I don't have a mobile or an ipod, so am very thankful of Custom firmware.

Is it copyright infringement if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28252375)

So if I download an iso of a PSone game (that I own the actual disc for) to play on my custom firmware enabled PSP am I committing copyright infringement?

I do this all the time and I don't consider it infringement of anything other than depriving Sony from charging me twice for the same thing

You know another major cause of a large shift away from PC gaming? The consoles are pretty bad ass. In fact, they're on par or better than most PCs and it's a consistent platform for game development.

Re:Uses (5, Insightful)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240493)

I own a PSP (got it as a gift) and enjoy the ability to play games I own in physical form (Genesis, SNES, NES cartridges) in an easy and portable format. It's like having a Sega Nomad with awesome battery life and the ability to play games from many other consoles.

If people are going to generalize and say that hacked PSPs are only used for piracy then you might as well lump in ipods and any other mp3 player that allows you to play non-drm'd media since after all, *nobody* uses those to play their backed up CDs... Those same people may as well support the position that it's wrong to use snippets of music from your own collection as ringtones, and that you must pay to use your music on each device you own.

Of course, by trying to re-patch PSPs with firmware downloads from new games, Sony has ensured that I won't buy any games for it. Oh and about the DS flashcard I've considered getting one for my wife, it would allow her to keep several games in her DS while the originals are safe at home.

I've always thought that these companies should get their heads out of their asses, help develop emulators and open their own ROM app store. Sell old game ROMS for .99 ea or bundles that are $4.95 which include 5-10 games. This would allow them to sell games for *EVERY SYSTEM* that has an emulator! If it works for music, it should work with classic games.

This would include PSPs, Wii's, Game Parks, Mac, Windows, Linux, XBOXs, etc, etc! They could even include ROMS for games as promotional items included with whatever their newest game is!

Re:Uses (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28245155)

The parent poster is correct in that a VAST VAST VAST majority of people that do the custom firmware do it to pirate games. So in your case you must be in the .01%.

Now to understand why they don't just release the old ROMS; they could do that but 99 cents isn't going to be the price. It would be more like $5 to $10 for the popular games and that would only be the ones they have the rights to. So lets take Sony... "if" they released a ROM emulator and made it available for all their old classic games... wait a second they don't have any older handhelds.... They do already have the emulator to do PS1 games... So what they would have to do is somehow convince SEGA, ATARI and or Nintendo that they should allow their old games to run on the PSP. This could happen but the amount of effort needed to get something like this done would be enormous, far more than say bringing GT5 or GOW3 over to the PSP, and those games will help new PSP sales far more than running old Sonic stuff on the PSP. Running Nintendo stuff will NEVER happen.

So we are back to piracy. Care to know what the console sales were for Doom 3? The game that a lot of people complained about, yet a lot liked... The sales sucked. How about Crysis for the PC? Sucked as well. It isn't out of the question that sales for Crysis for the PS3 and 360 will outsell the PC in less than 2 months. Why? It isn't because of all these guys like yourself that buy the game and then just want to run it on their local storage (HD, SD whatever).

This isn't new, piracy was one of (not the only) factor that killed the Commodore Amiga. Developers are not dumb and they will not support a console/device that can't sell software. The PSP has around 50 million units sold and sells like it has around 5. Sony has to do something very soon (and they did), or the PSP will be dead and there will not be a PSP 2.0.

Having said all this I see more and more games going to a World of Warcraft style. I am not a fan of this but the dollars generated for Blizzard can't be overlooked, and the piracy of WOW is very low.

Oh yeah, one last point. The SIMS3 says hello. (Already pirated--- STOLEN over 300,000 times before the game was released). Please don't use the excuse "Well I was never going to buy the game so it wasn't stealing". It is. I could say "Honestly judge I wasn't ever going to buy that Porsche..."

     

Re:Uses (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28250297)

Your examples don't work well for me. I can't find any numbers showing Doom 3 on any platform beings anything but a roaring success, and Crysis sold 1.5 million copies, which is extremely respectable.

Considering your entire post revolves around different facts showing how terrible piracy is, you'd better clean up your examples and prove things actually happened as you say they did.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28253607)

but you test drive your car before you buy it you fool.

Re:Uses (4, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240681)

As a prior Wii homebrew developer, I have absolutely no doubt that 99% of its users are just doing it to run crappy piracy tools. It's one of the reasons why I gave up on console homebrew and Wii homebrew in particular.

Then there's the thing where the main Wii homebrew library largely consists of code ripped straight out of the Nintendo SDK (most of the drivers and frameworks have the same API with the same code, just manually translated line by line from assembler to C - the only decent documentation for the "homebrew" graphics API is the SDK documentation itself). Nobody knew at first, since the guy responsible conveniently forgot to tell anyone. Now everyone just pretends the problem doesn't exist. No one dares to work on an alternative - even people who otherwise hate the library due to its failures. So in the end just about every homebrew binary for the Wii is a big SDK copyright violation. Kind of like the Xbox 1 situation where everyone used the SDK, except people there knew it was illegal and distributed the binaries underground, whereas here everyone just plugs their ears when the libogc issue is mentioned.

And people wonder why console homebrew has so much trouble attracting sane good developers.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28243637)

I have absolutely no doubt that 99% of its users are just doing it to run crappy piracy tools

Such as Twilight Hack, PatchMii, and DVDx.

Re:Uses (2, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28244061)

None of those tools is useful in and of itself; they all enable other things to run or work. Twilight Hack is an exploit, PatchMii is a system patcher, DVDX is a DVD-Video mode enable hack that doesn't require patching. But even so:

Since most users of "homebrew-enabled" Wiis are using it to pirate games, and the Twilight Hack is the most popular game exploit entry point and, until recently, the only one, most of its users are certainly using it with the end goal of piracy in mind.

PatchMii was some code developed to download an IOS from nintendo's update servers, patch it on the fly, and install it (enabling legal IOS patching). Its original use is also practically obsolete - originally it was released as a platform to experiment with IOS patches, and then it was used to enable DVD-Video mode on users with modchips (ironically, good modchips tend to actually break the use of DVDs for homebrew because they make them appear as game discs, which are subject to heavier restrictions). This restriction is now circumvented and PatchMii is no longer necessary (or supported for current DVDX versions). The only real improvement to homebrew from patched IOSes is the USB 2.0 driver, which, guess what, was actually developed for piracy, and is also obsolete or should become such for homebrew, since MINI (a true homebrew replacement for IOS which enables a truly 100% nintendo-free environment) plus Linux yields ridiculously higher performance than the crappy IOS-based USB EHCI driver (the latter doesn't even use IRQs). Given that PatchMii serves a limited purpose for homebrew these days, and that it is, on the other hand, the base for all of the warez-enabled modified IOS installers, we can also certainly say that most of the users of the PatchMii codebase are also using it with the end goal of piracy in mind.

Finally, even though DVDX serves a very specific purpose (trick IOS into turning on DVD mode for the user without having to patch it, so homebrew can read from DVDVideo or DVDR discs for data), and even though it's quite simple code, and even though warez loaders need to patch IOS anyway (since pure DVD mode isn't compatible with games), the very first DVD warez loader (which, by the way, sucked very badly) used it because the developer was too incompetent to figure out what bit to flip inside the IOS that he was already patching. So even DVDX, a tool that couldn't possibly be useful for piracy, indeed was used for that, although we can't speak of a majority of users here (the guy eventually figured out what he had to patch and it is no longer required).

We can't have nice things - anything and everything that homebrew developers make will be abused by much larger numbers of warez users. I say this as a former developer of all three of the tools mentioned. It's rather depressing that, say, the software installation interface that I reverse engineered and then added support for in libogc (originally used to install The Homebrew Channel, DVDX, etc) is now mostly used to install warez-patched IOSes and VC/WiIWare warez, and that even the libogc library that I developed it for turned out to contain a large steaming pile of code copied straight from the Nintendo SDK.

Glossary for those not familiar with Wii homebrew stuff:
IOS - an OS that runs on the Wii's "Starlet" ARM sub-CPU that contains security features and drivers for most wii-exclusive functionality that wasn't present in the GameCube. Unrelated to Cisco IOS.
Twilight Hack - exploit in Zelda: Twilight Princess that lets you run a homebrew executable. Recently open-sourced.
PatchMii - downloads and patches an IOS from Nintendo's servers and installs it, all on the fly and automatically. Originally released as an open-source platform for IOS experimentation.
DVDX - a trick using a hidden channel and some context save code. Basically it has a flag set that makes the Wii consider it the "DVD Player Channel", for which support officially exists and for which there's a special DVD drive mode, even though Nintendo denies the existence of any possibility of a DVD player for the Wii (that's a lie, all they need is to start selling such a channel on the Wii Shop, everything else is in place). This DVD drive mode is also the only reason why DVD-based piracy is possible on the Wii without a modchip (otherwise the drive would just refuse to read -R discs, period).

Re:Uses (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28250367)

There's a problem with your assertion. Nothing I've seen suggests the twilight hack can be used to run commercial software.

Re:Uses (2, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28253537)

The Twilight Hack is an entry vector - a way of loading your own code on the system to begin with. You need one of those to run the tools necessary to set up, install, and run copied games. Therefore, and taking into account that many more people using homebrew applications to run warez than not, and that the Twilight Hack is one of two available ones at this time and clearly the all-time most popular one to date (since the newer one, bannerbomb, is very recent), most users of the Twilight Hack have used it with the ultimate goal of running warezed games.

Re:Uses (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28253655)

I don't have any proof of that though. Everything I've seen seems to be pointed at running apps off of the sd card, and you'd go broke buying enough HC cards to actually play Wii games off of it.

Re:Uses (2, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28254621)

Warezed games can be run from DVD-Rs and USB drives. Sure, you run the loader from an SD card, but that's a few kilobytes. My point is that the only way to run Wii warez without a modchip is via loaders installed using/via homebrew, and the most popular way of launching homebrew to date is the Twilight Hack. Every single person out there who pirates Wii games without a modchip (a number much larger than the people purely using homebrew for legal purposes) has used either the Twilight Hack or Bannerbomb.

Re:Uses (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241415)

Sorry, are you really that incapable of clear thinking? This is not about copyright infringement, nor would your hypothetical situation be.

Yes, it is and yes, it would be.

The original firmware is copyrighted by Sony. Cisco IOS is copyrighted by Cisco. You're allowed to change the firmware on your WRT54GL (best home wifi router, ever!) because it's GPL.

Distributing modified versions of copyright firmware without a license from the copyright holder is infringement.

Your point about how people should be allowed to run custom firmware is irrelevant. If that is what was going on with the PSP people wouldn't be complaining about infringement, it's because these firmwares are hacked Sony firmwares that people are unhappy.

Re:Uses (1)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28242635)

Good job on not reading what I wrote.

You might argue that the firmware they're running is a modified official version, which is under a restrictive copyright license. That probably is the case in this specific instance. But you're not thinking clearly if you think that people who run unofficial firmware on their own hardware, are also committing copyright violations.

I made it incredibly clear that I was talking about the specific case of running unofficial firmware, nothing more. I then went on and said that I agreed it was likely in this case that the firmware this article was about was a modified version of the official firmware, which is likely to be under a restrictive license. I did not think I would have to further point out, that if that were the case, as it seems to be, that that would indeed be copyright infringement. But the comment I was replying to was equating running unofficial firmware, on hardware that you own, with copyright infringement.

Now as to whether you should be allowed to hack firmware or software that you've paid for even if it's under a restrictive license, that's another issue. I myself think that you bloody well should be allowed to do this, as you have handed over your money for it and should be allowed to tinker with it all you like. I am not though saying that you should be allowed to distribute your modified firmware though if it's based on firmware under a restrictive license, that's another issue which I've not considered much.

Personally though, I simply avoid using software that is under a restrictive license and stick to only Free software as I think it is much better if one can do as they please without breaking the law.

Re:Uses (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28244589)

I'm thinking clearly; you're not. You didn't really stop long enough to understand what I wrote.

I didn't say the hack violated copyright, nor did I say I cared even if it did. I never said that hack was wrong. In fact, I said I would do it myself, because homebrew is sufficient justification.

I said the hack will be mainly USED to pirate software... breaking copyright. That's not a hypothetical, that's simply true, and if you deny it, you'll ruin your credibility with any reader. When the someone says "the PSP hack can be used to run emulation, homebrew, and other stuff" they are deliberately trying to obfuscate the primary use of the hack: Piracy. I'm not saying everybody using it is a pirate. I'm saying most people using it are.

I would bet 90%+.

Re:Uses (1)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28244721)

Ermm...? I'm in agreement with what you said. I was replying to Goffee71 and his silly Cisco analogy.

Re:Uses (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28247183)

Then I apologize, and blame the mess that slashdot has made of nested comments.

Re:Uses (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239277)

Games for the PSP are very cheap. I was considering cracking mine before just to get simple stuff like a better media player front end and an alarm clock. Emulators would be cool too but I didn't get the device just for gaming.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28240485)

Wow, Slashdot probably the biggest supporter of ThePirateBay concerned about intellectuality and property rights hahhhhhhh.

Where is the '+5 Hypocrite' when you need it.

Re:Uses (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28250409)

Yeah, doesn't 'slashdot' know he's only one person talking to himself?

KNEEL, FOR I, THE MIGHTY SLASHDOT, DOTH COMMAND YOU TO GO FORTH, IN MY NAME, AND FETCH FOR ME THE CROWN OF THE KING OF THE WORLD.

Wait...You're just slashdot too. Crap. No wonder all those crazy Napoleons never conquer anything!

Re:Uses (1)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240645)

Until Sony permitted playback of hires h264 video in official firmware, that was one of my main reasons for running custom firmware. Also, running games from memorystick rather than UMD seems to save a lot of battery. Nowadays I mostly use mine for watching movies while flying, or waiting in airports.

Hey now (2, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241951)

It's a bit disingenuous to say that people only/mostly install CFW to play pirated games. The PSP didn't start out having very good games, and people still say its library is pretty slim. Most people I know who own a PSP only use it to play homebrew, and not PSP games at all. I don't think the PSP would have risen to such popularity if it wasn't for the homebrew scene.

As an actual games machine, it's cumbersome. The load times are long, UMDs suck up your battery, the games are too involving, and the amount/type of buttons on the PSP is not suited for the type of experiences that officially licensed developers are trying to cram in there. Homebrew games are perfect, and with emulators you have save states.

People don't like putting their PSPs to sleep because the battery still gets drained rather quickly, and you can't switch out games and resume quite as quickly as you can switch ROMs and load up a save state. If you play in short bursts you tend to forget where you are in a lengthier PSP game. So homebrew is much more attractive. For official games, dumping your UMDs on a memory stick is also a lot handier than carrying around a bunch of discs; They load faster, and use less battery.

While piracy is a problem on the PSP, it is not its biggest problem. The games just don't deliver what consumers want.

Re:Hey now (1)

ji777 (1107063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28249773)

I agree with most of what you are saying here. I have a "modded" PSP which I have used almost exclusively to replay ebooted rips of my old PS1 library in a hand-held, portable way. Currently playing Breath Of Fire 4 and I just slapped my Deception 3 onto it last night. It's breathed new life into my CDs which had been gathering dust. I know they are now selling some classic PS1 games in Sony's online store, but they are really few and... well... I already bought them for ~40-50 bucks back in the day. If only I could do something with my SNES and NES cartridges that are in boxes in the closet...

Re:Hey now (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28250919)

in regards to your SNES/NES Carts

You could sell them.. I'd be willing to buy a few.

Re:Uses (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28246477)

Emulation is great, and I would crack my PSP just for that, if I had one.

But it is just a bit disingenuous of the summary to not mention game piracy. It is one of the main reasons people install the new firmware; I suspect it's by far the primary driving force. It's also the main reason Sony is constantly plugging the holes and making revisions. It's not to combat emulation and homebrew.

I have no problem with modifying things you own; but the actual reasons that most people are interested in it shouldn't be just ignored. That's not intellectually honest.

Yeah, because it turns out, running your game off the memory stick makes for a much more acceptable portable play experience in every way compared to the crappy UMD. A PSP with UMD gives you a console like experience, with slow "loading" screens and all. There's an old YouTube video showing a game taking 7 minutes to get into the gameplay.

The PSP2k supposedly fixes this, but I can't justify buying a new PSP. Of course, I wonder how many PSP1000 owners bought a PSP2000 to get potentially a better game experience.

Sony's pretty much admitted that UMD sucks with their PSP Go. Unfortunately, the PSP Go's limitations means either re-buying your collection, giving up used games, giving up your old memory stick collection for a smaller, more expensive format (Memory Stick Micro), and paying more for the privilege.

Alas, the only way I'd want to get a PSP Go would be if there was a custom firmware for it, so I can play my legally purchased UMDs (new and used) on my new hardware.

Sony's rumored to allow people to get their UMDs in downloadable formats, but I don't see how you can do it without sending Sony your UMDs...

Hurray! (-1, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239165)

I'm sure the remaining 26 PSP owners are thrilled!

Re:Hurray! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239345)

Take that figure. Double it. Subtract 4. Then multiply by a million and you'll be close to the number of PSPs sold. There have been about 48 million PSPs sold to date. In the history of hand held consoles, the PSP has been the most successful competitor to Nintendo's offerings.

Re:Hurray! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239353)

I'm sure the remaining 50,000,000 PSP owners are thrilled!

Fixed that for you [gamasutra.com] .

Re:Hurray! (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28247975)

Actually it was an experiment in testing the mods. The last time a PSP story came up, I made an almost identical post and got +5, funny. This time -1, troll.

Fascinating.

What really sucks... (5, Insightful)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239257)

What really sucks with regards to this whole area of tinkering is the DMCA and other laws that make it illegal to tinker with your own property. Companies can do all the want to try to hinder it if they want to waste time and money on that, it certainly provides a nice challenge for the people that like trying to crack these things. But when the law just makes it illegal, that's bullshit. It ends up making the most curious and intelligent of us, into criminals.

Re:What really sucks... (2, Insightful)

weirdo557 (959623) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239383)

when modding is outlawed only outlaws will mod

The geek sees only code. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28243799)

when modding is outlawed only outlaws will mod

doesn't mean they will have the least idea of how to program a decent game.

much less how to recruit - and hang on to - outside talent.

scripting. direction. level design. art design.
character design and animation. props. backgrounds. textures. music. audio and visual effects. vocal performance....

development and distribution through legitimate channels for the XBox, the PC, the iPhone and other platforms opens doors to advancement in the real world.

and that is something you can sell to the 3D modeler you want on your team.

 

Re:What really sucks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28249147)

is vacuum

sorry

Piracy, Shmiracy (3, Informative)

Sick Boy (5293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239289)

Yes, you can use this to pirate. Whoopdodoo. There are lots of other benefits you're overlooking.

- Running games off the memstick is much faster than waiting for the UMD to load
- You can fit several games on the memstick (some may be pirated, if you're a dishonest prick who wants the platform to fail). That means you don't need to lug a ton of fragile disks around when you travel.
- Not using the UMD means extended battery life.

This is really spiffy, don't get me wrong. But what I'd really like is an update to 5.50 firmware so the copy of Final Fantasy VII I just BOUGHT will play on my hacked PSP. I think all the PS1 re-releases from E3 require updated firmware, and that blows.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239337)

If you paid for it and it doesn't work, then downloading [thepiratebay.org] a copy that does is 100 per cent reasonable.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241413)

He bought it knowing he didn't have the hardware to run it. What about that gives him the right to start distributing copies to others?

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28243661)

distributing copies to others?

Who said anything about that? Just throttle your upload speeds and there you go. As though the people downloading a torrent aren't going to get their copy of Final Fantasy 7 anyway.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (4, Informative)

skreeech (221390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239347)

you can run FFVII on CFW
you need to use the recovery menu to select "use version.txt" then usb toggle flash0 find version.txt and change all 5.00 or 500 to 5.50/550

I have not gotten FFVII but it worked for Fire pro wrestling G off the japanese store.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (1)

Sick Boy (5293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239457)

I just tried that, and it works. Many thanks!

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (1)

skreeech (221390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239477)

No problem, enjoy it

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240195)

some may be pirated, if you're a dishonest prick who wants the platform to fail

The PSP has been a known pirate haven for years and has been running on almost nothing but. Most early news reports suggested piracy was what kept the console alive.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28243523)

Another benefit: Sony limited the speed of the CPU/GPU below its rated speed in most games, perhaps to preserve battery life.

You can increase them to the max speed with custom firmware. It makes a huge difference to the framerate in some games at the cost of a little battery life.

Re:Piracy, Shmiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28346569)

I'm running 5.03 with CFW and FF7 works just fine.

Pandora (3, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239363)

You can go save your self some time and buy a Pandora with hardware specs 2-3 times better and totally open for hacking.

Re:Pandora (2, Informative)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239387)

sorry link didnt work, the Pandora wiki can be found here [wikipedia.org]

Re:Pandora (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28239409)

For twice the price, and without the PSP's great library of commercial games. Not to mention that waiting months for a piece of hardware to be released is hardly what I'd consider saving time.

Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240491)

and without the PSP's great library of commercial games.

A lot of PSP games are either sequels to games on the original PlayStation (PS1) or even emulated versions of games for the PS1 or older systems, especially on PSN. The prototypes of the Pandora gaming PDA can emulate the PS1: rip your discs and put the ISO on the SD card.

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (1)

MAD R (1570369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240575)

but then thy miffeth out upon thingf fuch af thy neweft, juft af difficult to underftand fake-fpearean tranflation of Final Fantafy Tacticf like chattel!!

...wow that's hard to read

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28240749)

I haven't played the PSP version of FFT, but I can guarantee you that however bad its translation may be, it's not as bad as the PSX version.

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28249453)

Don't blame Square. Blame yourself or God.

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28241421)

If you are just going to emulate a PS1 on a Pandora then why not just buy the PSP? You can play the same PS1 games for half the cost and have access to the entire PSP library of games.

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241441)

If you are just going to emulate a PS1 on a Pandora then why not just buy the PSP?

Because I am not "just" going to emulate a PS1 on a Pandora.

Re:Commercial games on the PSP from the PS1 era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28242625)

And yet you suggested getting a Pandora only to emulate a PS1.

My point still stands. A PSP can do more than a Pandora can for 95% of all gamers for half the cost.

It's Not Really "Custom Firmware" (5, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239377)

Custom Firmware is a bit of a misnomer. For the PSP-3000 (and last sub-model of the 2000, T88v3) it's not possible to replace the built-in firmware with a truly custom firmware, as Sony does signature checking that would keep the PSP from loading unsigned firmware. This is different from the early PSPs, where it was possible to fake out the device and make it accept any firmware.

Anyhow, this isn't a custom firmware in the traditional sense, rather it's more of a injection attack of the PSP's operating system. Normally unsigned code is blocked by the OS, but there's a vulnerability in the TIFF decoder that allows for executing such code. Using the ChickHEN tool (a compromised TIFF file and a payload) the OS's signature checks can be compromised by injecting replacement files in to the running OS, which the PSP happily complies with. With the check disabled, the PSP will run unsigned code for homebrew, but it lacks the drivers necessary to run backup/pirated games. This is an important distinction, because the ChickHEN tool has been around for a few weeks now and is not what TFA is talking about.

This latest hack (5.03 GEN-A) finally takes it one step further and uses the ability to run unsigned code to inject the additional drivers needed to make the PSP treat ISOs on a Memory Stick as a UMD game. This hack isn't necessary to run homebrew, it's solely for running commercial games. Notably it's still entirely a runtime attack, and if the PSP cold boots it will return to normal operation.

This is to Sony's advantage (what little good news there is, at least), because the hardware has not been compromised in any way. As PSPs can not be flashed with earlier firmware versions, all PSPs running firmware versions later than 5.03 can not be attacked as the TIFF vulnerability was fixed. This limits the number of vulnerable units to old units that haven't been upgraded, as new units will come with the fixed firmware. Of course this doesn't preclude another software vulnerability being found in the OS or a hardware attack, but usable software vulnerabilities are very rare, and a hardware attack would be the equivalent of the Holy Grail at this point.

Anyhow, since it's not a real custom firmware, it's not necessarily a viable long-term hack. Users will never be able to upgrade their firmware, so any software that requires a later firmware version (and can't be trivially bypassed by lying to it) would be unusable in hacked PSPs. Sony no doubt will be working to isolate hacked PSPs in this manner.

Re:It's Not Really "Custom Firmware" (1)

Sectrish (949413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28239937)

Thank you for a short and _very_ informative post, mod up!

Get the PSP 300 now! (2, Interesting)

ZirconCode (1477363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28240105)

Or you could simply buy a PSP 1000 (phat) for half the price and get a proper CFW on it, not just an eggsploit which disappears whenever you perform a hard-reset.

I think buying a new PSP is a waste of money, especially when Sony was so nice as to make everything 100% backwards compatible. The only advantages of the PSP 3000 towards the 1000 is it weighs less, comes in all kinds of ugly colors, and has a terribly cheap microphone embeded in it.

Re:Get the PSP 300 now! (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28243543)

The 3000 also has interlacing problems on the screen which the other models lack. It's fugly.

Re:Get the PSP 300 now! (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28247493)

However the other PSPs have ghosting problems and a lower color range which the PSP-3000 lacks.

Re:Get the PSP 300 now! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28252931)

The interlacing isn't that noticeable, the ghosting on the PSP 1000 is worse. The enhanced color range on the 3000 also helps some of the older games that were dim and dark on the 1000 because the dev's created and tested them on monitors and not actual releasae PSP hardware.

Re:Get the PSP 300 now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28247485)

the 2000+ series also has 32 more megs of ram in it

Sony could have prevented most of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28240495)

If only they had opened up the PSP system more to developers.

I would have killed to have a note taker, calendar, alarm, simple drawing app, etc.
CUSTOMIZATION.
Instead of this, the only ways you can get it are either by homebrew or through the web browser. (or some crappy UMD with applications on it)

Now they, developers, AND the gamers, are having to suffer due to this stupid restrictive development.

I think that's called a PDA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28241169)

I would have killed to have a note taker, calendar, alarm, simple drawing app, etc.

Don't kill. If you want a PDA, buy a PDA: either a Pocket PC running Windows Mobile or the forthcoming Pandora. Perhaps you should complain that Sony killed the CLIE too soon.

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